Bullpen Report: July 28, 2022

The 2022 version of Bullpen Report includes five different sections, as well as the closer chart, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

  1. Notable Workloads: Primary closers or valuable members of a closer committee who have been deemed unavailable or likely unavailable for the current day due to recent workload.
  2. Injury News 
  3. Outlier Saves: Explanation for a non-closer earning a save during the previous day.
  4. Committee Clarity: Notes on a closer committee that clarify a pitcher’s standing in the group.
  5. Losing A Grip: Struggling closers who could be on the hot seat.

The “RosterResource” link will take you to the corresponding team’s RosterResource depth chart, which will give you a better picture of the full bullpen and results of the previous six days (pitch count, save, hold, win, loss, blown save.)

Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

Notable Workloads

Jorge López, BAL: Back-to-back days; 26 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Félix Bautista is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if López isn’t available.

Tanner Houck, BOS: Back-to-back days; 12 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Garrett Whitlock is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if Houck isn’t available.

Emmanuel Clase, CLE: Back-to-back days; 15 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Trevor Stephan is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if Clase isn’t available.

Brett Martin, TEX: Back-to-back days; 3 of last 4 days; 7 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Matt Moore and Matt Bush are likely candidates for a save chance on Thursday if Martin isn’t available.


Injury Report



Outlier Saves

A.J. Puk, OAK | RosterResource

A shaky two-week stretch that began in mid-June (5.2 IP, 5 ER in six appearances) probably cost Puk an opportunity to take hold of the closer’s job and allowed Lou Trivino to re-establish himself in the role. It’s worked out fine, though, since Puk has quietly resumed what has been a very impressive season as one of the team’s primary setup men.

On Wednesday, with Trivino unavailable after pitching Monday and Tuesday, Puk was called upon to close out the first-place Astros with a 4-2 lead in the 9th. He retired the side in order to pick up his second save and lower his ERA to 2.13.

Matthew Festa, SEA | RosterResource

Two relievers were promoted to the big league roster on July 9. One, Matt Brash, is a highly-touted prospect who had been sent to the minors earlier in the season to prepare for a multi-inning bullpen role in the majors. The other, Festa, had mostly been forgotten after being removed from the 40-man roster prior to the 2020 season and then undergoing Tommy John surgery. But a few weeks later, Brash was sent back to Triple-A while the 29-year-old Festa is starting to establish himself as an important part of a very talented Mariners’ bullpen.

On Wednesday, with Paul Sewald unavailable after throwing 28 pitches on Tuesday, the Mariners went to Festa to close out a 4-2 win over the Rangers. He pitched a scoreless inning to pick up his second save. Over his last 12.1 innings pitched, he’s allowed only one run and five hits while striking out 17 batters.


Committee Clarity

Hunter Strickland, CIN | RosterResource

It was only a couple weeks ago that I wrote about Strickland’s grip on the closer’s job loosening with a healthy Alexis Díaz back in the mix. After all, he had an ERA close to 5.00 and only still had a job because of how bad the entire Reds’ bullpen had been with the exception of Díaz. However, I didn’t rule out July save chances for the 33-year-old journeyman.

“Continuing to give Strickland save chances isn’t entirely crazy, however, if only because he has limited trade value at the moment and it could increase if he can close out some games prior to the August 2 deadline.”

Now, he’s converted saves in his last two outings. On Wednesday, he pitched a scoreless 9th to close out a 5-3 win over the Marlins and pick up his 6th save. While he won’t be a highly-coveted reliever on the trade market, it’s still quite possible that Strickland ends up pitching in middle relief for one of the several playoff contenders with a shaky bullpen.

Pete Fairbanks, TBR | RosterResource

The normally unpredictable Rays haven’t been that difficult to figure out when it comes to save chances in 2022. When Andrew Kittredge was healthy — he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June — he was very likely going to get the save chance. Without him, it’s pretty much been a three-man closer committee with Colin Poche (6 Sv), Brooks Raley (6 Sv), and Jason Adam (4 Sv). But Poche has struggled as of late, blowing his third save of the season on Tuesday and his fourth on Wednesday when he allowed a game-tying homer to Jorge Mateo in the 9th inning.

After the Rays took a two-run lead in the top of the 10th, they went to one of their best relief pitchers of the previous two seasons to close things out. Fairbanks, however, was only making his fourth appearance of the season after missing three months with a lat injury. He allowed a run in his debut and two more in his next outing before pitching a scoreless inning on Monday. Two days later, he would pick up his first save in more than a year (his last save came on 7/18/21) with a scoreless inning. His final pitch of the game was a 100 MPH fastball to Rougned Odor, who grounded out to second.

If Fairbanks can stay healthy, he will obviously be a huge part of the Rays’ bullpen. Whether they will use him in save situations is another story. Back in 2020, 12 Rays’ relievers had saves during the regular season and Fairbanks wasn’t one of them. And then he got three saves in the post-season.


Losing A Grip

Taylor Rogers, SDP | RosterResource

Updating yesterday’s post with another blown save and another two runs …

Rogers’ latest blown save could finally move the Padres to make a change at closer. Over his last 21 innings pitched, the 31-year-old lefty has allowed 19 earned runs and 28 hits while blowing six of 17 save chances. It’s probably too late to expect that he’ll return to his early-season form when he had a 0.44 ERA and 17 saves in 18 chances in his first 20 appearances.

While there might not be one pitcher who is capable of taking on the load as the primary closer, they do have enough unique options to utilize a matchup-based committee with right-handers Martinez, Garcia, and Nabil Crismatt, and left-hander Adrian Morejon, who could emerge as the frontrunner if he ever proves durable enough to pitch at least every other day.

Additional help could also be on the way in August. Drew Pomeranz (1.62 ERA, 12.0 K/9 in 27 appearances with the Padres in 2020-21) is close to beginning a rehab assignment while Robert Suarez should be activated from the 60-Day IL when he’s eligible on August 5.

Not only has Rogers struggled badly, he had also thrown 30 pitches during Tuesday’s blown save. And, yet, there he was again in the 9th inning with the Padres leading the Tigers 3-2 on Wednesday. After not having pitched since Saturday, Morejon was warming and would’ve been the logical choice to close out the game. But, for some reason, Padres’ manager Bob Melvin stuck with Rogers. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out and the Padres ended their road trip with a loss.

“Maybe down the road” might seems like Melvin’s not ready to make a change, but it would be a shock if Rogers is still the Padres’ closer when they return to action on Friday.


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 7/27/2022
Team Closer First Up Second Up Injured List
ARI Mark Melancon Joe Mantiply Ian Kennedy
ATL Kenley Jansen A.J. Minter Will Smith
BAL Jorge Lopez Felix Bautista Dillon Tate
BOS Tanner Houck Garrett Whitlock John Schreiber Matt Strahm
CHC David Robertson Mychal Givens Scott Effross
CWS Liam Hendriks Kendall Graveman Joe Kelly
CIN Hunter Strickland Alexis Diaz Dauri Moreta Jeff Hoffman
CLE Emmanuel Clase Trevor Stephan Eli Morgan
COL Daniel Bard Alex Colome Carlos Estevez Tyler Kinley
DET Gregory Soto Michael Fulmer Andrew Chafin
HOU Ryan Pressly Rafael Montero Hector Neris
KC Scott Barlow Josh Staumont Taylor Clarke
LAA Raisel Iglesias Ryan Tepera Aaron Loup
LAD Craig Kimbrel Evan Phillips Alex Vesia Blake Treinen
MIA Tanner Scott Anthony Bass Steven Okert Anthony Bender
MIL Josh Hader Devin Williams Brad Boxberger 0
MIN Jhoan Duran Tyler Duffey Griffin Jax Jorge Alcala
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Adam Ottavino
NYY Clay Holmes Wandy Peralta Jonathan Loaisiga Michael King
OAK Lou Trivino Zach Jackson AJ Puk Dany Jimenez
PHI Seranthony Dominguez Brad Hand Corey Knebel
PIT David Bednar Yerry De Los Santos Wil Crowe
STL Ryan Helsley Giovanny Gallegos Genesis Cabrera
SD Taylor Rogers Nick Martinez Luis Garcia Drew Pomeranz
SF Camilo Doval Dominic Leone Tyler Rogers Trevor Rosenthal
SEA Paul Sewald Andres Muñoz Diego Castillo
TB Jason Adam Brooks Raley Pete Fairbanks Andrew Kittredge
TEX Brett Martin Matt Moore Matt Bush
TOR Jordan Romano Yimi Garcia Tim Mayza
WSH Kyle Finnegan Carl Edwards Jr. Steve Cishek Tanner Rainey

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1 year ago

Great in-depth stuff Jason! Any plans to bring back your Knocking on the Door column? Favorite column on the site, miss the You Tube podcast too.